And this is happening in America? Hunger rates in the U.S. rose sharply in 2008 to their highest levels since the U.S. Department of Agriculture started tracking the number in 1995, and they’ve held steady ever since. As many as 1 million American families with children were forced to go without eating at some point in the past year. The number of Americans on food stamps is up 10 million from a year ago, to 42 million people. "I know meeting with, whether it's government offices across the country or with food pantries and food banks—in all of those instances people have reflected the fact, to me, anecdotally that they are serving people who never envisioned in their lifetimes needing to turn to either a state or a county for federal assistance or to a food bank for assistance,” said Mark Nord, a researcher with the USDA. And the problem is set to get worse—economic forecasters, the U.S. government among them, predict a rise in food prices in 2011.